Friday, December 31, 2010

The Eve of the Start

Yesterday I made it to dinner with no sugar.  At dinner I went ahead and ate major carbos in the form of a delicious turkey manicotti and then a desert of fruity ice cream.  But the good news is that I think I could have made it all day eating the things on the diet.  So far today, I practiced with the juicer and made myself "chocolate milk" which is a mix of 1 pound organic carots wtih 1 head organic romaine lettuce.  It looked disgusting (it does look like chocolate milke, disturbingly) but tasted fine.  Breakfast tomorrow is supposed to be juice - I might have to pick it up in DC at some point and have it on hand for breakfast.  Not fruit juice, mind you, I'm thinking carrot juice is the closest I'll be able to get store bought to the recipes in the book.   I might also have some eggs since I'll be at a hotel and it would be a shame to eat nothing when I adore hotel breakfast so much.  

I meant to post something else yesterday.  My estitician told me this week about a website that counts your calories for you.  I thought it was a great idea.  The website name is:  Basically, you can go in there and type up what you ate in a day and it will tell you the calories.   I think it isn't something you could do forever, take too much time, but my thought is that practice will "train" you on how many calories things are after probably as short as 2 weeks of tracking.  Then you could just check from time to time when you are pondering a certain meal and not sure its calorie content. 

You are probably asking...  why detox?  This was another thing I meant to talk about and forgot in all the shuffle of holiday travel, cooking, and clean-up.  I think a lot of folks detox after something really serious happens to them that causes them to question their health.  Some people seem to have a higher threshhold for concern than others.  Cancer being the ultimate of detox driven scares...  and minor chronic issues being the more sensitive kind of detox scare.  I think we get into our heads that aging is just going to happen and some people will accept a pill and go on the way they've been.  I guess, with the yoga, I've been feeling that there are probably things I'm doing that are contributing to my chronic health issues.  And diet is an easy one to see and change compared to a lot of other factors that can be harder to change.  My dentist did point out to me the other day that there are a lot of factors that contribute to health as much as diet - the two she named as primary are stress and hormones.  I agree with that and thank her for the reality check.   I mean, will this diet change "fix" me?  I don't really know but probably not.  But if I can feel better and be more productive in my life then I want to do it.  I mean, the comfort foods are wonderful, but wouldn't it be great not to need or want them?  Anyhow, I'm off for today.  I guess I just wanted to put an entry in to keep my commitment and momentum rolling.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pre-detox Misery

Hi All,  So, I haven't started yet but today I'm trying not to eat sugar anyway.  It sucks.  I'm so hungry and grouchy.  Just finished arguing with my father about whether or not chlorine is a deadly carcinogen or a valuable antibacterial agent... my point is simply that it's both.  Sigh.  I'm still not even sure why he wanted to insist I use it.  For what?  It's in the pool I swim in and the water that comes to my home before I filter it out to drink it.  What more do I need it for?  I just don't get it... 

Anyhow, I had a big glass of strange green juice (Naked superfood Green Machine) this morning for breakfast and two candex tables - to kill candida yeast.  I had a delicious lunch of two bowls of greek yogurt (plain 2%, not vanilla, plain) with stevia in it and ground flax seed. It tasted good.  Also, I had a really yummy stir fry of baby spinach, garlic, mushroom, a little red onion, and butter with some organic tomatoes and goat cheese on top.  It was VERY tasty.  Now, however, I am grouchy and HUNGRY.  I will be cheating at dinner tonight (recall day one is really Jan 1st) by eating Turkey Manicotti, so don't worry, I'll get my carbo fix then.  But still, how will I make it without strangling my family for 7 days on no sugar?  I mean, I seriously don't know how.  And remember NO sugar. No fruit, no pasta, no flour... no crackers... no toast...  I do like the other food on the diet but boy does my body miss it's addiction.

I'm headed on a mini vacation to Washington DC today so if I don't post until Jan. 1 don't be shocked. Plans for further pre-detox - continue to take the candex and keep the sugar low, practice with the juicer to see how these wacky juices on the diet taste, and live it up on New Years Eve a bit! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting IT out of the house

Well, my friend Coralee commented that I better get the junk out of my house.  So I took that pretty seriously.  I will admit to freezing some of the treats I have around for some future date...  but I put a lot in a bag to give to a friend and out it's going today.  

The diet is mostly comprised of salads and other veggies.  I am also allowed to have some winter squash, yams, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.  It allows goat cheese - which is quite tasty.  And organic butter and eggs.  I can also have organic meats but not at the same time as starches.  So it's either yams and salad or wild caught fish and salad - but not fish and yams.  See what I mean?  Also allowed are avocados  - which I do love - and fresh juices (that don't contain fruit but other things instead).  I'm over simplifying in my description here but as I write down what I ate, you'll get the gist.  I'm also using Stevia artificial sweetener - which is supposed to be a safe sweetener.  Hope so. 

The supplements I'm using are probiotics and candigone for starters.  I'll see how that goes.  Probiotics in the morning when I have juice for breakfast.  Then candigone before lunch. 

I weighed in at 138.5 this morning.  Also, I did yoga yesterday - I love yoga.  So happy when I get to take a class.  Tried to stick to the diet yesterday but didn't.  I failed at about 3 pm with some bread and then again after dinner with some cake.  Sigh.  It's going to be HARD for me, guys.  I appreciate all the encouragement I'm getting but the truth is, I don't know if I can make it even 12 hours without sugar. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Picking a Program

Erin's Weight on her newly purchased Weight Watcher's* scale from Rite Aid:  138 lbs (I am 5'5'' tall)
Erin's weight goal at the end: 128 lbs.
How often Erin cheated today:  countless times...  (I'm not starting until January 1) dark chocolate, apple strudel, two cups of caffeinated tea (no sugar though),  maple syrup on pancakes, a pear, dried fruit, juice blend containing fruit... 

A lot of really caring, concerned people want to save me from having to detox.(Or maybe they want to save themselves from listening to me complain about the detox...)  Thank you, if you are one of them.  I appreciate your kind concern.  And it is warranted.  First of all, my appearance doesn't immediately suggest that I need a detox.  In a crowd, I don't think I'd get singled out as the one girl who just has to cleanse her system.  But anyway, I do need to and I mean, I REALLY need to.  The other reason the concern is really well warranted is that detoxing is a bit hazardous.  You ought to study it for awhile before you do it.  If you are the type of person who just wants to take a bottle of pills for 15 days and be done with it, well that's not likely to work, quite frankly.  First off, the reason you need to detox is probably mostly due to what you have been eating for a LONG time.  And so 15 days of pills just isn't going to cut it.  My trouble, I'm fairly sure, is my flora - as in, my system doesn't contain the right kind of little microbes right now.  After years of too much sugar in my blood stream and frequent antibiotic use, well it's no shock that I'm in trouble.

The first attempt at detoxing I did was during a 40 days of yoga program.  It was a giant failure.  Baron Baptiste's 40 days to Revolution (of yoga) was a GREAT work out program, but it wasn't a great detox program.  He wants a 3 day fast (during intense exercise, explain that?) and he wants us to only eat fruit and drink water.  First off, if you have too much candida yeast infesting your system (as in you eat too much sugar so you are all out of whack in the flora department) then you are just feeding it like crazy if you do a fruit only detox.  Also, I had too much acid in my system to start with.  I was under a great deal of stress at the time and drinking coffee (very acidic) so I could get up at 4:30 in the morning and kill myself in boot camp style work outs for two hours every day.  A fruit only diet made me ill.  I didn't make it more than 12 hours before I thought the pain in my stomach was going to kill me.  I called my mommy and she told me to eat normally.  So, I ate an egg, had some bread and felt much better.

Next my girlfriend Elizabeth mentioned a good detox program to me.  It is Dr. Joshi's 28 Day Detox.  It is a vegetarian detox and I think it's probably FABULOUS.  I strongly recommend vegetarians check it out.  It isn't for me.  I firmly believe that I need to eat some meat.  I understand, I am a yogini and there is a karmic load by eating the flesh of other animals.  Indeed, also, I see that animals higher on the food chain have more toxins in their systems because of the additive effect of eating all the animals below them in the mix.  I also understand that meat probably encourages aggression to some extent, stimulating the adrenals or something.  Thing is, I'm not supposed to eat soy beans or other beans due to my cystitis.  I also had a b12 deficiency when I was trying to be a vegetarian.  AND I think God made us who we are, omnivores, that's the niche we fill.  We are mammals that were made to hunt and eat meat. We evolved to be hunters, in so many ways.  Anyhow, the point is, we are supposed to consume some flesh - I'm fairly sure that's the animal niche we fill.   And thus, I am going to eat meat during my detox.  BUT it's going to be low toxicity meat.  And it will only be once a day after I break this yeast problem I have. 

The next book I picked up to detox explained why the first attempt was such an unhealthy failure.  It is Natalie Rose - Detox for Women.   That's what I plan to follow for this attempt. It explained to me about the candida yeast and the sugar.  It explained about getting the toxins out through elimination - bowel movements.  In short, if you aren't getting it out then things are very wrong during a detox.  You have GOT to go and go alot.

Then my mom told me about Brenda Watson.  Now, upon looking her up online, I realized she really peddles supplements.  I want to reiterate that if you are looking for magic 15 days of pills to fix you, well I'm not on board with that notion.  I am going to buy her supplements, however, to use them with my diet changes.  So... I purchased her probiotics and candi-gone.  I also purchased a 15 day first time detox kit.  I'm thinking I will detox with the diet and supplements and then, do some research on her 15 day program to figure out when the best time to try that is.  Cause it might be too much all at once.

According to Natalie's guidelines I have a systemic candida infestation... ugh, that sounds serious.. and so I have to be really strict about the sugar for some period of time until the symptoms of that subside.  This is what terrifies me the most.  I mean, how long can a person make it starving the yeast to death before they collapse of hunger them self?  But we shall see.

So I'm hoping a week of sugar starvation will be enough, but I don't know... I mean, I'm pretty addicted and I assume my yeast is too...

Next installment will include more info on Natalie's specific diet and what supplies and groceries I'll need to pick up.  

*BTW if you simply want to lose weight I really do recommend weight watchers.  It is simple and it works for people.  This detox is about changing my body's flora and chemistry to be healthier, weight loss just happens to be a side effect of doing that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Preparing to Detox

So, my friend Laura has been telling me I need a blog.  I usually think, "What do I have to share about my life that someone would really want to know about?" But lately I've been studying detox programs and telling all my friends, family, acquaintances and yoga students that I'm going to do one starting January 1, 2011.  It occurs to me that giving a daily report on my sucesses and failures might be just the right kind of thing to answer all the questions I get from folks about the details of my detox AND to help keep myself from falling off the detox horse.  Cause, well, I'm a sugar addict.  I mean, I am a SUGAR ADDICT.

People usually don't believe me.  I'm not fat.  I'm a yoga teacher by profession.  I seem to be health conscious and folks figure I probably eat really healthy and barely at all. But it isn't true.  I eat quite a lot and at least half of it is sugar.  I do love vegetables, probably my saving grace, and I won't eat after I'm full. That's true too.  So it just goes to show that weight watches is absolutely right, it doesn't really matter what you eat it's how much you eat that makes you fat... but what you eat matters for other health reasons and that's what I've been studying lately. 

Oh BUT back to the sugar, cause that's the issue.  If there isn't sugar in my system, I'm dragging and grouchy...  so some maple syrup with my pancakes, some frosted breakfast cereal, six cups of heavily sweetened tea or coffee (yes, like Umbridge in Harry Potter... I pour spoonful after spoonful into my cuppa and LOVE it), then there are the after lunch cookies... six is about right... and the after dinner cake... home made with lots of butter cream frosting.  And don't forget dinner and lunch themselves; often comprised of pasta and bread or, better yet, BOTH (which, in case you didn't know it, might as well be straight sugar when it comes to the speed that the glucose gets into your blood stream after you eat it).   I've even been known to have chocolate for dinner with the excuse that dipping fruit in it makes it healthy.

Now I'm not disgusting like some people.  You won't find me gorging myself on cherry pie filling straight from the can or eating sugar out of the sugar bowl.  And I don't really like rock candy or tasty cakes; they tend to make me nauseous.  But give me a bag of oreos and some milk and I am in HEAVEN - I mean, high as a kite.  And not a natural high, a sugar high.  Sigh.

Anyway, I've always known it wasn't good for me.  First of all, it doesn't feel exactly good.  It feels like a drug addiction.  When you don't have it, you will stop at nothing to get it.  And when I have kicked the habit in the past, I've been far healthier.  I kicked sugar and caffiene when I was pregnant, that really did help me out quite a bit.  Once in college I did it too.  But I always fall slowly back into my old yummy habits. 

See, I have some chronic health problems.  I've lived with them since I can remember.  And I don't know if they are just me or maybe, just maybe, the nutritionists are right and they are my diet.  I mean, hmm, well that's the question that this is designed to answer.  What's 28 days of my life in suffering if I can answer this little question: will my health and productivity be improved by cutting out the sugar and eating properly?

I mean, let's face it, our American diets are way out of wack.  It's like we are all gluttons these days.  We can have junk easily and cheaply and so we do have it and not four times a year at major holiday feasts but every day.  In short, what we eat every day would have been a 17th century feast for the average human being.  It's excessive.  So... here I go to try to stop myself.  28 days...  hmm.

Well anyhow, you'll be wondering, "What health effects is Erin suffering from?"  And so I'll tell you.  I'm going to tell you the whole truth all the time, embarassing, personal, weird, pathatic, and victorious... I'm going to tell you what's up with me.

The state of my health today...  

First off, I have a condition called Interstitial Cystitis.  Some doctors don't believe it exists but boy are they wrong.  Also, there is medicine to treat it.  It's called Elmiron and I take 3 pills a day.  The condition is a painful and inflamed bladder and they gave me a diet to follow to take the pain away.  I followed it for three months most of the time, but now that the Elmiron is working I avoid the things on the diet but I still indulge sometimes.  I had no luck, no luck at all in cutting chocolate out of my diet.  I mean, they have to be kidding. But the alcohol was easy to avoid.  Also, the caffeine was hard but I did do it for a long while.  Now I'm back on it again, but not for long, as cutting it out is part of my detox.  The condition feels like a painful heat in your belly and it wakes me from sleep at night and just hurts like there is something really wrong down below.  I did have to go to the bathroom a lot with it but not as much as they say other people feel.  I also have some incontinence issues, like when I sneeze I have to try really hard not to pee myself.  :)  And forget doing jumping jacks.  Anyhow the diet is pretty ridiculous - but I did figure out quickly that preservatives of any kind and food dies really aggravate the condition so I've gone organic and that's been VERY helpful.   

Second, I have chronic sinusitis.  It's pretty bad too.  I take a daily allergy pill and a nasal spray.  I have air purifiers and a nasal irrigator.  I still get pretty bad problems with my sinuses right before my period and when I'm sick, however.  Bad enough that I often need antibiotics and steroids to fix the trouble. 

Third, acne.  I know that sounds petty but I work hard on not letting it get ugly.  I put a lot of expensive creams and facial washes into the mix.  I bet all those chemicals are just fighting the real trouble... I'll come back to that later.

Forth, mood, energy, focus and sleep issues. These are classed together for me here because they all seem to be related to my state of consciousness.  The focus issue can be quite bad - as in I feel like I have ADD or something.

Fifth,  dry skin and fungal infections of the feet.  I've been told that the dry skin is fungal so that's why I listed it here.  Enough said on that embarassing and unsightly issue.  Again with the creams and soaks. They work but it's constant effort on my part.

Sixth, joint pain.  Now, this is dealt with pretty well at this point.  I do regular exercise and yoga...  but I'm just being honest.  Stuff on my body hurts more than it should for my age - or that's what I think, anyhow.  I don't think it's arthritis, either, I think it's the sugar and I'll tell you why soon.  :)

Okay, I think that's all I'm fighting so far.  Unless you count my cavities.  :)  But let me type up my references so you can check out the sources.  It will include a list of trouble that can be caused by too much sugar in one's diet...  um, oddly (or not oddly) the complete list of my issues is on the too much sugar diet trouble list.  :)  Shock of shocks!  Oh and one last thing... I am going to... for the first time in my adult life... buy a scale.  I figure that I will be able to lose weight doing this diet, even though I don't have that much to lose, it's still worth tracking.  I don't normally weigh myself but for you all, I will.  Tomorrows entry will include all that and more...